After an almost three year journey, we are excited to share that we have been awarded our official Green Seal Certification, becoming one of only 140 properties in 24 states (as of March 23, 2011), and the only Palm Springs area resort to receive the distinction!
The criteria for certification is very long and specific, and rather than sharing facts and figures, we wanted to share the story of how our team got behind the green movement.
How our Journey Started
In early 2008 we were selected as the host site for the 2009 California Resource Recovery Association Annual meeting. Their goal – to run as close to a zero waste event as possible – took over a year of planning and was deemed a success by organizers.
But for the resort, it was really just the beginning, as we started to wonder how we could become more environmentally friendly for all our customers. We sent out an internal survey to find associates who were passionate about being green, and formed our own “Green Team.” We started to hold monthly meetings and make small changes right away.
“The most exciting part was to really see our own associates get behind the changes,” said Cristina Cascio, Director of Guest Services and one of the green team leaders. “Achieving green seal certification was one of the most rigorous and thorough evaluations a lot of us have been through in our careers. It was amazing to see our associates actually pushing all of us to make it happen.”
Whats Next for Rancho?
“We’ve received a few recent awards from the California State Assembly and Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce, and have been featured in some articles like a recent one in the Huffington Post titled “How Green is My Valley?” says Cascio.
“While the recognition is nice, our Green Team has started work towards our Silver Level certification from Green Seal. It’s certainly a journey, but an incredibly rewarding one.”
About Green Seal
The Green Seal Standard for Hotels and Lodging Properties, GS-33, is one of the most robust environmental standards in the hospitality industry. In order to receive certification, a hotel must meet and adhere to stringent guidelines set out by the standard. These include requirements in waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation, wastewater management and green procurement. A certified property’s records, processes and procedures are evaluated and an on-site audit of the property is conducted. Certified hotels submit to annual monitoring to assure continued compliance. For more information, visit www.greenseal.org.
While You are on Property
It takes a team working together to make sure Rancho stays green, so we ask our guests to help us while staying on property. In each guest room is card with details. If you’re staying more than one night, we change your sheets only upon request, and ask that guests reuse their towels during their stay. Of course, guest comfort is important to us and we are happy to replace sheets and towels if you desire.
We’re keenly aware of the amount of water and electricity used in large scale laundering, and every little bit helps. In the past year, we’ve been able to reduce our electrical needs by aproximately 20 percent.
We also have recycling containers next to waste bins and spread across the property, and our housekeeping team will sort and recycle trash from the guestrooms.
Do you have any suggestions for keeping Rancho green? Please post them in the comments below!